How to Help Older Dogs Sleep Through the Night? Easy Home Solutions

help older dogs sleep at night

If your older dog doesn’t sleep through the night, it can affect the whole family. When dogs get old, it becomes difficult for them to sleep peacefully. There can be many reasons for this interrupted sleep, such as changes in sleep patterns, illness, or general body discomfort. Many people want to know how to help older dogs sleep through the night. As a pet owner, you can do lots of things at home to ease their restlessness. We’ll discuss everything in detail.

Why My Dog Doesn’t Sleep at Night?

Black pug 1
I can’t sleeeeep 🙁

Aside from any health issues, it’s essential to understand the reasons first; there can be quite a few of them:

  • Bathroom break.

Like young kids, puppies also need self-control to hold their pee. Moreover, when dogs get old, it becomes difficult for them to control their bladder. It results in interrupted sleep. So, if your dog isn’t sleeping well, there is a possibility that he might need to go.

  • Energy.

It might sound ridiculous, but it’s a fact. When dogs don’t do anything throughout the day except snoozing, they feel difficulty sleeping at night. Except for daytime sleeping, they have nothing to do. Moreover, when they lack exercise, it causes anxiousness and a buildup of unused energy. Their wake cycle affects their sleep patterns.

  • Separation anxiety.

It can affect dogs of all ages. When old dogs spend most of their time away from their owners, they suffer from separation anxiety. As a result, they can’t sleep well. The older they get, the more they want to be close to their owner. Your dog views sleeping as some form of separation. Some breeds are prone to separation anxiety more than others.

  • Discomfort.

When humans don’t feel well, they can’t sleep well. Dogs face the same problem. Older dogs tend to develop arthritis and joint pain, and discomfort. If your dog is suffering from any illness or injury, it will result in disrupted sleep.

How to Help Your Older Dog Sleep Better?

You can help your older dogs sleep better in the following ways:

Provide your dog with a comfortable place for sleeping.

When dogs get older, they naturally have more pains and aches. You need to provide them with a softer and warmer place to sleep.

Purchase an orthopedic dog bed and padding because it can make your dog comfortable. Place the bed in a well-ventilated and warm area. Ensure that your dog is feeling comfortable.
If you don’t want your dog to sleep in your bed, a good quality bed and soft blanket can help your dog sleep well.

Provide them with a comfortable and calming place free of excessive noises.

Moreover, there can be external disruptions that prevent your dog from sleeping at night, for example, regular noises from neighbors and other loud noises.

Daily exercises.

When dogs grow in age, they start to sleep more during the day. When dogs sleep more during the day, it becomes difficult for them to sleep at night. Take your dogs for a walk and exercise 3 times a day if you can; first thing in the morning, afternoon, and evening. Slow walks are suitable for older dogs.

Also, exercise can include playing with puzzle toys. In simple words, any activity that keeps your dog working indulged and avoids sleep during the day.

Dog resting with his tongue out.
I need a break.

Establish standard hours for sleeping and waking.

A regular sleeping schedule can help your dog sleep better through the night. When dogs go to bed more at regular intervals, they can’t sleep well at night. When you establish waking and sleeping hours, it enables them to sleep well. It’s essential to set a sleeping schedule, and by sticking to it, your dog can sleep well at night

Off the shelf medication.

Senior dogs often face difficulty in sleeping, and medication can help induce sleep. Moreover, medication can eliminate discomfort, illness, and body pain. Discuss your dog disrupted sleeping patterns with your vet and seek their help.
Some medications can help increase daytime activity. Moreover, this daytime activity will make your dogs tired.

Comfort your dog.

When dogs suffer from anxiety, they can’t sleep well. Try everything to comfort your dog. For example, lay with your dog or speak to your pet in a loving tone. Also, you know your dog loves your company. At night time, so he doesn’t feel separated from you, we recommend buying a bedside bed sleeper. It’s an easier temporary option.

Take your dog to the bathroom before bed.

As mentioned earlier, it can cause discomfort, so ensure that you take your dog to do his thing before bedtime. Make it part of your daily routine. It will help your dog to sleep well at night. It is not challenging to retrain an older dog if you have to. Check out this blog on re-housetraining your adult dog.

Crate training.

When you train your dogs to sleep in the crate, it prevents them from wandering the house. Many dog parents prefer to have their dogs sleep on the bed with them, and as a result, they can’t sleep well. That’s why we do not recommend that. When you start crate training, it will stop your dog from waking in the middle of the night. Use positive enforcement during crate training, and don’t punish your dog. Once dogs establish a good sleeping pattern in crates, everyone benefits from a good night’s sleep.

Veterinary visits.

Our guide on how to help older dogs sleep through the night is only for home remedies. If you have done everything but not getting the desired results, it’s time to take your dog to the vet. Ask your vet about the reasons why your dog isn’t sleeping at night. There can be plenty of aging issues, for example, joint and muscle pain, cognitive dysfunction, and nervous system disorder. Once the vet has identified the problem, he will suggest medications to fix the issue.


Many pet owners are concerned about their older dogs’ disrupted sleep and often ask how to help older dogs sleep through the night? Therefore, we have compiled this guide to help you fix these issues. Identify the reasons for discomfort and fix them. Moreover, follow all the steps mentioned above to help your older dog sleep better.

If you have any tips or tricks on how to give your dog the best night’s sleep, please share them with us in the comments section below.

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